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Gaddafi in Rome: Notes for a Film

video installation, 2022

From the Maxxi Bvlgari Prize 2022 exhibition booklet:

"Alessandra Ferrini is an artist, researcher and educator whose artistic practice is based on a historiographical and archival form of investigation in which she resignifies the history of Italy in relation to the phenomenon of colonialism.  Gaddafi in Rome: Notes for a Film is the result of six years of research into the Libyan leader’s visit to Italy in 2009. The video installation presents three acts, with images and news produced in real time during Gaddafi’s visit, together with archive materials collected and manipulated by the artist. At the heart of the work is a photograph of the meeting with Silvio Berlusconi at Ciampino airport and the protests sparked by Gaddafi’s choice to display an image on his chest, showing the capture of Omar al-Mukhtar (1858-1931), the leader of the fight against the Italian occupation of Libya. The images are accompanied by the voice of the artist, who extrapolates the facts from the context of mass communication and reflects on the diplomatic and power relations at play, highlighting the relationship between the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya, and the manipulation of the colonial past by the two leaders. Ferrini’s analytical approach to deconstructing the media vision of an event that marked the beginning of new European policies on immigration can be seen in a number of elements of the installation:a curtain that recalls the anatomical theatre in Padua, a picture of Berlusconi and Gaddafi holding a photo of the Libyan coast, printed on plexiglass and a cloth on an oval table with a photo that was shown in the Green Square in Tripoli in 2011."

3 channel HD video with sound, total duration 1 hour.

Environmental installation in bare wood,

print on polyester, print on plexiglass,

vinyl lettering.


Music by JD Zazie.
Sound design by Riccardo Martorana

Architect Dolores Lettieri.

Produced for the Maxxi Bvlgari Prize 2022 (Rome),

curated by Giulia Ferracci.

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